Nonimmigrant visa for Canadian workers in the US

The North America Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, opened the doors for employers and employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico. In order for workers to take advantage of the new opportunities, a special Visa, called the nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional, or TN, allows Canadian citizens to work in the United States.

The first step in obtaining the visa for employment immigration is to fill out an online application, called a DS-160. Once you've filled out the application and submitted it, print out the confirmation page because you will need it at your interview. You will also need to upload a photo following the guidelines outlined on the Visa application website.

After submitting your application and photo you will need to schedule an interview at the U.S.Embassy or consulate in your country. If you are between the ages of 14 and 79, this step is generally required. Those under the age of 14 and persons 80 or older may be exempted from the interview process. You will also need to pay the nonrefundable application fee, if required. On the day of your interview you will need to bring several things with you:

-- The confirmation page from the DS-160 application

-- Your passport

-- A photo of yourself

-- The receipt proving payment of the application fee

-- A letter of employment from a company in the United States. This letter should detail the reasons the visa is needed, and that you meet all the qualifications to perform one of the occupations listed in Appendix 1306.d.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16.

-- Proof of experience and education required for the position.

You will be asked a variety of questions during your interview of both a professional and personal nature. You will also complete a fingerprint scan as part of the interview process. Once a decision is made, you will be informed when your visa and passport will be ready for pickup or delivered via courier service.

The process to obtain a TN can be a bit confusing so anyone with questions about the process should contact a legal professional well-versed in these matters. This person can answer any questions and help a person seeking a visa to receive one.

Source: U.S. Department of State, "Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers," accessed June 17, 2016

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